'Alien' Remake, Reboot, Whatever - Just a Bad Idea

Monday, June 1, 2009

You've got to have a giant set of balls to remake Alien. In terms of genre movies, setting your sights on Alien is like remaking Snow White or Casablanca or Annie Hall. Alien really is that good and that important in its genre. So is the sequel. So maybe Fox recognizes that and is focusing instead on some kind of origin story. That's what Bloody Disgusting is reporting today.

I'm a little confused as to what an origin story would be, though. Would it concentrate on the evolution of the alien race? Would it be the crew of the Nostromo earlier in their mission? And if it's Option B, why the hell would you make that movie without the Alien, thus avoiding the remake tag? Or how could you make an Alien-free origin story without the intention of getting around to it someday? Could any of this sound like a worse idea?

The rumor is that Ridley and Tony Scott are locked in to produce and that it will be a journey of the Nostromo crew, meaning a new Ripley and a new Alien presence. So, if the sources are to be believed, this is a remake no matter what else they stack on top of it.

Who would direct? Not Ridley Scott. Not Tony Scott. Not anyone you've probably heard of, in fact. The name being linked to the project is Carl Rinsch, a commercial and music video director. There's a long history of filmmakers emerging from those fields, so it's not that I mind Rinsch getting called up to the big leagues, but I think I'd mind anybody remaking Alien.

Here's a solution for Fox, and see what you think about it: Just digitally restore and re-release Alien. Give it a healthy distribution in a 1,500 - 2,000 theaters. My precedent for this is The Exorcist, another movie that would not be enhanced through a remake. The director's cut was released in 2000 and made $40 million, opening in second place despite only playing in several hundred theaters.

Fox would please purists and introduce the film to new audiences as well, which is presumably the point of remaking it. And it would cost much, much less, bringing the studio and the producers a greater return on a movie that realistically can't be improved upon.

And then, six months later, do the same thing with Aliens.


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